Since May 2011, Kandy is proud to present one more attraction for lovers of Buddhist culture, history and art, namely the International Buddhist Museum (IBM), established by the Sri Dalada Maligawa (Holy Tooth Temple). The new museum, also known as World Buddhism Museum, is hosted in the former High Court building, conveniently situated just behind the Sacred Tooth Relic Temple.
The International Buddhist Museum informs about the expansion of the Buddhism throughout Asia, it has rooms dedicated to seventeen Asian countries which contributed exhibition pieces and designs. Nations of both Theravada and Mahayana traditions are represented in the museum. Remarkably, embassies of five Muslim countries that once played an important role in he spread of Buddhism, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan, also paid much attention in organizing their respective galleries.
The International Buddhist Museum showcases Buddha statues and paintings from both Theravada and Mahayana cultures. Ancient scrolls to regional musical instruments are exhibited, too. Different practices of different Buddhist schools are explained. There are also miniature recrations of famous Buddhist temples such as the Borobudur on the island of Java and the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar (Rangoon, Burma). Surprisingly, the Vishnu-temple Angkor Wat can also be seen, but it makes sense: Angkor Wat is well preserved, because it was transformed into a Buddhist monastery already in the late Middle Ages.
A good museum shop can be entered at the end of the visit in. Taking photos is not allowed inside Kandy’s International Buddhist Museum.
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